Commencement Speaker Dr. Krisna Maddy: “We Are Ready to Accomplish Extraordinary Things”

The commencement speech from the Miller School Class of 2024 graduate and Georgetown neurosurgery resident.

Dr. Krisna Maddy speaks from the stage of the Miller School 2024 commencement ceremony

Ladies and gentlemen, esteemed faculty, proud families and my fellow graduates, my name is Krisna Maddy and it is an honor to be speaking on behalf of the iconic NextGenMD class.

Today marks a pivotal moment in our lives, a culmination of years of hard work, dedication and sacrifice. We are the fearless pioneers who embraced the noble calling of medicine amidst a global pandemic.

Just four years ago, we embarked on this journey by logging into the Miller Zoom School of Medicine. We sat in virtual classrooms, almost of us with our cameras on, forging connections through screens and meeting furry friends who couldn’t help poking their heads in. We created shared Google docs in UMCL groups that only half of us contributed to. If, like myself, you lived at home, you probably had a Do Not Disturb sign on your door kindly asking your family to refrain from barging in, and yet they still did.

But despite the challenges and uncertainties at the beginning, we stand here today, a testament to our resilience and determination.

When we braved the wards, we faced the unknown with courage and conviction, and shared an occasional meme in the GroupMe. We made it through the Bulge and then the Void, two interesting word choices that were probably suggested by GI faculty. We learned to verbalize the otoscopic exam.

The world is waiting for us and I have no doubt that we will change it for the better.
—Dr. Krisna Maddy

We took it one step further, as med students always do, and we did kindness work outside of the hospital, too. We trekked to the Florida Keys to engage with the local community and some of us spent hours in the Office of Belonging and Inclusion, mostly studying, and maybe debating whether Haitian or Jamaican patties are superior. And we rounded out this last month going to in-person happy hours (a massive step up from the virtual ones), getting to know each other and creating new memories.

And now, as we stand on the threshold of a new chapter, we are ready to accomplish extraordinary things.

While medicine is rooted in scientific knowledge and technical skill, its true essence lies in the stories we share. We listen attentively to patients’ tales: “What brings you in today? Where were you before this? What are your plans afterward?” As physicians, we become a part of their stories. And we often step into a scary and vulnerable chapter of their lives. Patients look to us to write the next pages of their story. It is a profound responsibility—one that carries both weight and beauty.

Today, as we celebrate our achievements, let us not forget the countless individuals who have supported us along the way and allowed this chapter of our own lives to be written. To our families, friends, mentors, and colleagues—thank you for believing in us, for encouraging us and for being our unwavering pillars of support. We owe our success to each and every one of you.

Miller School graduate Dr. Krisna Maddy
Miller School graduate Dr. Krisna Maddy goes from Miami to Georgetown for her upcoming neurosurgery residency.

Thank you for listening to us tell stories about the crazy things we see and do in the hospital that only medical students would find interesting. And even if you still don’t understand how the match works after we explained it a million times, thank you for still showing up. We would not be here without the countless attendings and residents who trusted us and who taught us. And to the nurses who came around every afternoon offering a cortadito, I thank you for your service to the Miller School of Medicine. To the staff who called us doctors even after we corrected them, thank you.

But the primary reason we stand here today is our patients. It’s their stories that we recounted on the interview trail. Their narratives guided us in choosing our specialties and the kind of doctors we aspire to be. Their stories lingered in our minds during exams. I know I wouldn’t be here without them and I am deeply grateful to each and every one of them for sharing their stories, which have seamlessly intertwined with ours, propelling our journeys forward.

Let us not overlook the significance of self-appreciation. In the face of adversity, we persevered. We persisted and we conquered. So take a moment to thank yourself, to acknowledge your strength, resilience and determination. You did it, and you deserve to celebrate this weekend.

As we transition into the next phase of our journey, let us carry with us the lessons learned, the memories cherished and the gratitude felt. And let us remember the voices that have guided us. I want you to think of Dr. Riley and his encouraging emails telling us we have nothing to worry about because we are all going to pass. Remind yourself to strive to be as excited about medicine as Dr. Kupin is about kidneys. And when you need a moment of humility, just think about those UWorld block averages at the beginning of a rotation.

I know I stand on the shoulders of giants, and that excellence is a prevailing attitude that we all hold. For many of us, we couldn’t even begin to dream of becoming the people we are today and achieving the things that we’ve achieved. To the class of 2024, congratulations. The world is waiting for us and I have no doubt that we will change it for the better.

Tags: commencement, commencement 2024